Contextualising Esie Soap Stone Sculptures of Northeast Yorubaland.

  • Author: M.O. Hambolu
  • Topic: Younger than 500 BP,Ethno-archaeology,Historical archaeology
  • Country: Nigeria
  • Related Congress: 13th Congress, Dakar

Though the Esie Soapstone Sculptures came into the public sphere in 1933, they had been known to the Esie people since C 1775 AD when they relocated to their present site from Oko-Odo. The narratives concerning these objects vary and research interests are diverse. New light is being shed, but to a large extent these sculptures remain enigmatic. This need not be so, if proper research questions are asked and efforts at answering them are concerted. Tentative answers are hereby presented based on archaeological prospecting/excavations, analysis of motifs and ethnographic research which give insight into the original context of production and use of the Esie Soapstone Sculptures. It is hereby asserted that if all clues are examined and a multi- spectral perspective explored, it should not for too long remain impossible to make positive assertions as to the society that produced these objects and the purpose they were meant to serve.

The emergence of key behavioural innovations and their relationship to environmental variability in the Middle Stone Age of southern Africa.

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